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February 16, 2009

Shorties (Eugene Mirman, Alela Diane, and more)

At the A.V. Club, comedian Eugene Mirman answers reader questions about sex, life, and love.

The CMJ staff blog reviews his book release party for The Will to Whatevs.

Paste's artist of the week is singer-songwriter Alela Diane.

BBC News profiles Saint Etienne.

PopMatters interviews the Handsome Family.

Jason Isbell talks to the Nashville City Paper about his grueling tour schedule (he will perform over 200 shows this year).

"Sure, there are times when you get tired of the grind, and that's when you know you've been on the road too long," Isbell said. "But this is your job as well as your life and something you love. People get up every day and go to work doing things a lot harder and less enjoyable than playing music, so there's no way I'd ever complain about what we do."

The Guardian examines the importance of television series exposure to bands' success.

In Skins' quest to portray authentic middle-class hipster youth, it has pushed the boat out with its soundtrack. There are around 150 songs in each series, many of them by acts liable to leave even the most au courant of music programmers, as well as fans, scratching their heads. It's a fair bet Skins represents the first TV exposure for Oregon ambient act Eluvium, Liverpool indie-ska band We Need Leads and North Shields pop group Moira Stewart, and an even fairer one that it's the first channel flagship drama to open to the strains of Son the Father by hardcore Toronto punks F**ked Up - as series three did. When Skins isn't busy pushing a playlist of early-adopter rock, dub and dance, it's doing a fine job of helping to break bands - and spearheading an increasingly relevant market for the record business: promoting music through TV dramas.

nyctaper is sharing mp3s of These Are Powers' album release show for All Aboard Future (out tomorrow).

Daytrotter's Monday session features in-studio mp3s from the Spinto Band.

The New York Times reviews Morrissey's new album, Years of Refusal.

But the listener enters a typically strange deal with Morrissey. As always, he depends on others to write his music, particularly his long-time collaborators Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte. It’s a lopsided relationship. Unless you’re such an English major that lyrics blot out the rest of a song, you’ll be coming to grips with instrumental songwriting that’s slightly anonymous, slightly passe college rock built to be consistent with an old pattern, his signature sound. It’s merely part of the system. “Years of Refusal” feels vibrant as an art of words and images; it’s somehow weaker as music.

This week Five Chapters is serializing, "Of Love: A Testimony," a long-unseen short story by John Cheever.

Tampa Calling lists 21st century indie love songs.

At Drowned in Sound, Emmy the Great and Lightspeed Champion share their love of Steve Marti's comedy.

At Hypebot, the brains behind indie music label Asthmatic Kitty share their opinions of the music industry and what works for them.

IGN lists 10 great prog rock guitarists.

NPR's Morning Edition ponders what songs Abraham Lincoln would have had on his iPod.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists


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